SOMNIUM

My thesis was a narrative adventure video game pitch called Somnium that consists of character designs, prop designs, environments, animation tests and a 2 minute teaser trailer (and a soundtrack that’s in the works)

 

The game is about a boy named Thomas living through the dust bowl, who explores his dreams and embarks on a search for meaning.

 

Somnium focuses heavily on perspective, understanding and the concept of morals.

At the start of the game the player has to select a deity that represents a set of common human values.

This will affect your perceptions of everything you interact with and experience in the game.

The Deities

The game starts out with the player having to select one of three deities which each hold common human values. Whichever deity you select will affect your storyline, gameplay, and dialogue options. The deities will provide guidance in the form of subconscious thought throughout the real world, and manifest into various physical forms in the dream world.

Dog, deity, somnium, dreams, lucid dream

Beauty • Art • Meaning • Emotion

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Understanding • Knowledge • Education • Logic

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Wealth • Success • Fame • Power

The Real World

Once a deity is selected the game can begin.

You play as a young man named Thomas. He has the ability to lucid dream.

Thomas lives on a farm with his parents in Kansas during the Dust Bowl.

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The House

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The Barn

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Game Assets

Along with the real world, you play through Thomas's dreams.

There are 3 different dream environments, each representing a part of Thomas's life. 

In each environment you will run across a mysterious and mischievous character which helps you on your journey. Though he may appear as different physical forms in each environment, you will come to learn that in spirit they are all the same being.

The Dream World

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The lush, green forest represents Thomas’s future, as he wishes to one day escape the dusty midwest to lands and seas of green.

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First we have a bleak and barren desert, representing life in the present. The desert environment is where Thomas faces current situations obscured through a dreamy lens

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In the desolate castle dream environment you explore and revisit Thomas's past and the elements and events that have shaped him into who he is now.

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Present

Past

Future

Animation

This spring I have been working on the animated components to the game such as walk cycles, UI design, and a game trailer. 

This is the teaser trailer for Somnium. The final product was created from start to finish in roughly 2 weeks (due to an animation festival deadline I was trying to finish by). It was animated with TVPaint, backgrounds done with graphite and Photoshop, composited with After Effects, and finally, edited with Premiere. 

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First draft of Tom's walk cycle.

Style test for the dream world. The dream world will have a hazy, smudgy aesthetic to differentiate it from the real world.

Another style test for the castle dream environment.